Referrals for counseling come from parents, teachers, and the students themselves. Parents can call one of the counselors, send a note in with their child, e-mail one of the counselors, or request a meeting through the classroom teacher.
Students are informed that when they enter the counselor's office, what they say is confidential. The exceptions to this are if they express that they are going to hurt themselves or someone else or if they are being hurt by someone else. If the counselor feels that the parent should be made aware of something mentioned during a counseling session, the counselor informs the student that the information will be shared with the parent, then notifies the parent.
In general, if a student visits with one of the guidance counselors about an isolated incident that is very common, a phone call home is not made. If, however, there seems to be a recurring issue or if the issue is of concern, a phone call is made to the parents to inform them of what is going on.